What to watch for: Warriors at Nuggets


What to watch for: Warriors at Nuggets

The Warriors are off to a nice start at 7-5, but if therewas a game that didnt sit well with them it had to be a 107-101double-overtime loss to the Nuggets on Nov. 10.The Warriors let that one slip away, to put it kindly, blowinga late lead in overtime No. 2, and failing to make a couple of free throws inovertime No. 1 that could have sealed it.Theyll get a chance to make up for that discouraging one inDenver on Friday.The Warriors have won four of their past five games as theyprepare for a back-to-back set against the Nuggets and then Minnesota athome.Here are some things to watch for during Fridays gamebetween the Warriors and Nuggets:Neutralize Faried: In the Nuggetsovertime win against the Warriors on Nov. 10, nobody hurt the Warriors morethan Kenneth Faried. Hes an undersized power forward but he is athletic and heplays relentlessly hard. That is not an easy matchup for David Lee, and sodont be surprised if the Warriors try to use Draymond Green some onFaried.Faried had 18 points and 17 rebounds in that game againstthe Warriors, including nine offensive rebounds. The less of a factor Fariedis, the better for the Warriors.Guard play: Stephen Curry and KlayThompson both played well in the Warriors victory over the Nets on Wednesdayat Oracle.Curry shot 7-of-13 from the field and had 25 points againstBrooklyn. His shooting percentage has crept up to 41.7 percent after adifficult start, but all signs are that his stroke is coming around.Thompson went 10-for-19 from the floor against the Nets, thefirst time this season hes made half his shots or more in a game. Thompson isshooting just 35.4 percent from the field this season, which you figure willimprove.What also needs to improve from Thompson are his shotselection and decision-making.Keep rebounding: If theres one thing theWarriors have done consistently well this season its rebound. Right now, theyhave a plus-3.9 differential, good enough for fourth in the league. The Nuggetsare the best rebounding team in the league, with a plus-8.5 differential. Agood chunk of that is because of Faried.The Warriors have been getting rebounding from all of theirpositions, including their backcourt. If the Warriors can limit second shots bythe Nuggets, theyll have a chance to get a victory.

Azubuike: Paul George 'definitely put in a call to Klay Thompson'

Azubuike: Paul George 'definitely put in a call to Klay Thompson'

Paul George can become a free agent in 2018.

Klay Thompson is scheduled to hit free agency a year later.

Might they be future teammates with the Lakers?

"He's (George) definitely put in a call to Klay Thompson, and obviously he feels like Klay Thompson is a guy that he would love to play with in the Lakers," NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors analyst Kelenna Azubuike said on 95.7 The Game on Tuesday morning. "Now, for all we know, Klay could have said, 'Buzz off, I'm staying with the Warriors.' It doesn't really mean much that he put in a call. They probably had a nice conversation.

"Maybe they even talked about something other than basketball, and didn't talk about basketball at all. Who knows. It doesn't really mean much, but he's definitely put in calls to Klay Thompson; he's talked to LeBron James and he's trying to see if he can figure out who can come with him to the Lakers."

George reportedly told the Pacers he isn't going to stay with the franchise long-term and Indiana is currently looking to trade him before he has the opportunity to walk.

George -- who grew up in Los Angeles -- wants to suit up for the Lakers.

Klay is entering Year 3 of a 4-year, $69 million deal.

If he continues to play at his current level, he will absolutely be in line for a max deal when his contract is up.

A lot can change between now and then, but one thing is clear at this point: Klay doesn't want to go anywhere.

“At the end of the day, I’ve tasted winning,” Klay told Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group at the championship parade. “No stats can ever overcome that. I’d rather win these championships and score no points than have 60-point games and 37-point quarters. These championships are everything to me...

"It’s so much more to being part of a team and being part of something special. You can build a legacy ... the thing with basketball these days, there’s a lot of individuality with stats, numbers, Who’s the greatest, he’s a better player than him, he put up this many points.

"But Steve (Kerr) helped me a lot with that. He said nobody is going to remember how many points you put up. They are going to remember how many championships you win."

Klay was born in Los Angeles, grew up rooting for Kobe Bryant and went to high school in Southern California.

His father, Mychal, won two titles with the Lakers.

"But I doubt, I highly doubt that Klay Thompson will end up leaving the Warriors," Azubuike added.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Dorell Wright knew Steph and Klay would be this good because...

Dorell Wright knew Steph and Klay would be this good because...

Dorell Wright played for the Warriors in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

He spent a lot of time with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. 

Did he think they would end up being this good?

"Yeah. I seen it because they put the time in, they put the work in," Wright told Alex Kennedy on the HoopsHype Podcast. "Sometimes we'd have to go talk to Steph like, 'Yo, you know we got a game tonight? You're going pretty hard.'

"He's a little different, man. He takes coaching and advice from everybody. If you're telling him something that's gonna better him and help him, he's gonna sit there and listen to you. He's not gonna be one of those guys that thinks he knows everything.

"I'm happy for his success ... I'm just happy he's back and being healthy."

And what about Klay?

"A guy that I had to shoot with every day in different 3-point drills that Mark Jackson used to have us doing," Wright explained. "And I'm always going first because I'm the starter, and then it would be Klay and B-Rush. I'm making 20 shots in a drill and Klay would come right behind and hit like 26, and it's like, 'Dang, this dude really is a dead-eye knockdown shooter.'

"So that was a great experience being around another good shooter and a guy that puts the time in to get better each and every day."

During the 2010-11 season, Wright set the Warriors' single-season franchise record with 194 3-pointers (Curry made 151).

The following year, he made 105 in 61 games.

Wright, who will turn 32 in December, has not played in a regular-season NBA game since April 1, 2015.

He spent the 2015-16 season in China, before returning to the Heat for the playoffs.

He was in training camp with the Clippers last October, but was waived during the preseason.

Wright enjoys watching the Warriors play and wants to make an NBA comeback.

Perhaps with his former squad...

"They play well with each other, they move the ball and they take good shots ... that's pretty hard to guard," Wright said. "I didn't get a chance this year to play them so I can't really, really tell you how hard it is (laughing), but they make it look real easy out there.

"Hopefully I can get back out there next year so I can be either on their side or on the side of trying to dethrone them."

Wright also made sure to give some love to Warriors fans.

"Some of the most loyal fans that you will ever encounter -- rowdy, loud and just love their Bay Area teams ... I'm still a resident of the Bay Area and they still show me love like I'm a current Warriors player everywhere I go...

"The fan love is crazy."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller